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New musical Mandela to premiere at Young Vic in November

A maroon stencil of the face of a young Nelson Mandela is spray painted on a red external wall.
Young Vic Mandela (c) Emilie Chen

New musical Mandela will premiere at the Young Vic later this year.

The piece, which features a book by Laiona Michelle with songs by Greg Dean Borowsky and Shaun Borowsky, will run from 28 November 2022 to 4 February 2023 as part of the venue’s newly announced season of work.

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Schele Williams will direct the premiere production which is being made in partnership with Nandi Mandela, Luvuyo Madasa and the Nelson Mandela family.

A revolutionary new musical that tells the story of Mandela the man and Mandela the movement. Infused with the rhythms and spirit of South Africa, Mandela shines a light on the South African people’s courageous fight for their liberation.

For 27 years, Mandela and his comrades sacrificed their freedom and their families paid the price. It is a story of determination, hope and how the world rallied to free him and his people.

The creative team also features additional music & lyrics by Bongi Duma, choreography by Gregory Maqoma, orchestration and musical supervision by Benjamin Kwasi Burrell, casting by Pippa Ailion CDG and Natalie Gallacher CDG.

Cast and further creative team are to be announced.

Nandi Mandela (Granddaughter of Nelson Mandela) said: “As my grandfather once said, music has the power to free us to dream, to unite people as one voice, and we hope that our musical will do just that. We are so proud to be bringing his story to the stage, with our brilliant creative team led by Greg and Shaun Borowsky, Laiona Michelle, Bongi Duma, Gregory Maqoma and Schele Williams in a way that honours and celebrates Madiba, for who he was – a grandfather, a father, a man who tried to do the best that he could during his journey on earth.

“We hope that my grandfather’s story, of a man from humble beginnings who pulled himself up by his bootstraps, will resonate with audiences far and wide, and communicate his message of hope – that we are all capable of doing great things, as long as we are true and authentic to ourselves.”

Luvuyo Madasa (Great Grandson of Nelson Mandela) added: “Mandela is a story of hearts and minds, the result of an incredible journey that we have been walking with Greg and Shaun Borowsky for the past seven years. Together, we will invite people to the Young Vic to see who Madiba was, who his family were and what they meant to him, the sacrifices they made and the many unsung heroes that journeyed alongside Mandela as he became a global, political icon.

“By sharing his tale in this way, we hope that people from all walks of life will see the story of my great grandfather in a new light and recognise that he was just a human being following his path and perhaps, this can inspire many more of us to follow in his footsteps.”

Young Vic announces summer-autumn season

Alongside Mandela, also announced as part of the Young Vic’s new season of work is Ivo van Hove’s production of Édouard Louis’ Who Killed My Father. Performed as a monologue by acclaimed actor Hans Kesting, it runs 7 – 24 September.

A distressed photograph bathed in a turquoise hue of a barefoot man sitting hunched over on a small, wooden side table facing an unseen window to the left. To his right is a tall window with a radiator underneath.
Young Vic Who Killed My Father (c) Feast Creative

Running 16 July – 13 August is new play Chasing Hares by Sonali Bhattacharyya, winner of Theatre Uncut’s 2021 Political Playwriting Award. Directed by Milli Bhatia (seven methods of killings kylie jenner), the piece considers the power of storytelling in imagining a fairer world, in an epic tale about a father’s resistance in the face of exploitation, set between the UK and West Bengal.

And in June, ​Deirdre McLaughlin the Young Vic’s 2021 Genesis Future Directors Award recipient will direct a devilishly camp social satire The Secretaries by American collective The Five Lesbian Brothers.

For more information and tickets, visit www.youngvic.org

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